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Examiner
  • Citizens shouldn't be taxed twice

  • Regardless of where you live in Blue Springs, your Blue Springs tax dollars go toward paying for ambulance service. This is something which began in the 1970s following a voter approved tax increase.

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  • Regardless of where you live in Blue Springs, your Blue Springs tax dollars go toward paying for ambulance service. This is something which began in the 1970s following a voter approved tax increase.
    On the Ballot Aug. 6 is a property tax levy increase for Central Jackson County Fire Protection District to pay for ambulance service.
    It’s my opinion Blue Springs Residents will be paying twice for the same service if the CJCFPD property tax levy passes. Twice being the original city of Blue Springs tax and the newly approved CJCFPD tax. That’s twice the tax for the same service.
    CJCFPD sent a flier to my house with two statements:
    1.) “The City of Blue Springs is voluntarily surrendering responsibility to CJCFPD and has committed to help in the transition.”
    2.) “Shifting legal responsibility for service provision to CJCFPD will relieve the City of Blue Springs of operational, administrative and financial obligation.”
    These are true statements. After 40 years, the city of Blue Springs is washing its hands of the ambulance service. Why don’t you get a tax break instead of a tax increase?
    CJCFPD Chief Westermann came to the City Council meeting and publicly said the number one question he gets on the CJCFPD ballot issue is what the city of Blue Springs is going to do with all the money it won’t be spending for ambulance service.
    Instead of asking “What will City Hall do with the taxes no longer spent on ambulance service?” the question should be “Why do Blue Springs residents have to pay twice for the same service?”
    The solution…. If the CJCFPD property tax levy increase of 15 cents is approved, then the city of Blue Springs property tax levy should be reduced by 15 cents.
    Therefore Blue Springs residents won’t be taxed twice for the same service. Unfortunately, my elected colleagues on the City Council disagree and won’t second the motion so we can have a public discussion on the issue. The proposal is simple and resolves the issue.
    The time to hold Blue Springs elected officials accountable is now. I believe the ballot issue will pass and property taxes will be going up after the Aug. 6 election. If you can’t get Blue Springs elected officials to commit to reducing taxes before the election, it’s doubtful you’ll convince them after. After the election, City Hall will have its cake (uncommitted tax revenue) and be eating it too (wasteful spending). As a 20-year elected official, it’s my opinion City Hall wants to wash its hands of a voter approved service while keeping the taxes. That’s not accountable, responsible and transparent government in my opinion, and I’m disappointed to see Blue Springs conduct business this way.
    Page 2 of 2 - Going forward, don’t be distracted by “committed,” “uncommitted” “undedicated” or two districts. The fact is clear that regardless of where you live in Blue Springs, your tax dollars have been paying for ambulance service since the public vote in the 1970s. When the city terminates the service, all Blue Springs residents deserve a tax break as the new CJCFPD tax is phased in.
    The community might consider having an unbiased review of The Examiner archives from the 1970s to verify the city’s commitment to providing ambulance service. City Hall has shown me the city’s informational flier from the 1970s’ tax increase proposal and I say the city committed to providing ambulance service if the tax passed.
    My opinion in closing; it lacks integrity and ethics for the city of Blue Springs to collect the original ambulance tax once the CJCFPD ambulance service tax levy is approved. The solution is simple. Once the CJCFPD property tax levy goes up by 15 cents, the city of Blue Springs property tax levy goes down by 15 cents.
     

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